Mercy Medical Center North Iowa introduced its new helicopter to the public Thursday afternoon. Above: Air Med taking off from its current helipad just a few blocks away from the Mercy campus.|Mercy Medical Center North Iowa introduced its new helicopter to the public Thursday afternoon.
Mercy Medical Center North Iowa’s new helicopter, named Air Med, received its official blessing from Father Ken Gehling.
The new Helicopter, a model Bell 407, was purchased in February has several improvements over the bird that it replaced, including the ability to allow the entire crew to wear night vision goggles, a larger interior, higher speed capability and longer range. Now a patient can be picked up in Spencer and flown to Iowa City, without the need to worry about fuel. On top of that there is a 550Lb Weight capacity.
The new helicopter is only one part of a whole new E.R. that Mercy is working on. Currently Air Med takes off and lands at a helipad on 1St St. S.W., just west of the Cenex gas station.
Mercy Medical Center expects construction to complete late this year or early next year. It is projected to be fully functional by spring of 2012.